Friday, June 3, 2016

ERC releases list of ‘contestable’ power users

THE Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has listed a total of 1,266 electricity end users that qualify as “contestable customers” or those who can choose to contract their electricity supply with any licensed retail electricity suppliers (RES).

The list, prepared as of April 2016, covers only Luzon and comes as the power industry moves closer to the full implementation of retail competition and open access (RCOA). It contains power users whose consumption is at least 1 megawatt as called for during the initial phase of RCOA, which started on June 26, 2013.

The contestable customers are encouraged to actively seek a RES of their choice and take advantage of the competitive offers in the market, the ERC said. The regulator has also listed a total of 24 “local RES”, or the supplier arm of a distribution utility, and 17 other regular RES, or any person or entity authorized by the ERC to sell, broker, market or aggregate electricity to end users.

Only licensed suppliers are allowed to market or offer services to consumers.

Under a resolution issued on March 8, the ERC has set the rules governing the issuance of licenses to retail electricity suppliers and prescribed the requirements and conditions for these.

The ERC has listed the entities that can apply for a license to be a supplier, including generation companies or their affiliates, retail aggregators, independent power producer administrators, or any person “intending to engage in the selling, brokering or marketing of electricity” to the contestable market.

“The ERC shall not be precluded from imposing additional restrictions contained in separate rules issued, or still to be issued by it. The ERC, for justifiable reasons, may likewise exempt compliance by a RES license holder to specific license conditions, taking into account the actual operations of such RES license holder,” the regulator said.

It said the requirements for the granting of license include “technical and financial qualifications, conditionalities of cross-ownership, market power abuse, anti-competitive behavior and all other requirements which are deemed necessary for the proper implementation” of the resolution. -- Victor V. Saulon

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